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Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds

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Over the past two years, the …

Over the past two years, the
concept of cloud computing has
grabbed hold of the IT consciousness
and stirred up the industry.
But with so many vendors jumping
into the cloud-computing fray,
promising the world and then
some, deciphering what’s real and
what’s not can be difficult for even
the most seasoned IT professionals.
The truth is that cloud computing
does indeed hold great promise
for the enterprise, but it’s not the
answer to all IT needs.

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  • 1. PARTNERS IN EFFICIENCY WhITe paper Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds Over the past two years, the The Promise of Cloud ComPuTing and storage, is proving too rigid for the concept of cloud computing has For companies to be competitive in evolving needs of the business. Instead, grabbed hold of the IT conscious- today’s fast-paced, online-oriented and companies need a next-generation style ness and stirred up the industry. highly interconnected global economy, of computing in which highly scalable, But with so many vendors jump- they must be agile, flexible and able dynamic and virtualized resources ing into the cloud-computing fray, to respond rapidly to changing market are available on-demand and only as promising the world and then conditions. That means, for example, needed. That’s cloud computing. some, deciphering what’s real and being able to scale seamlessly when what’s not can be difficult for even transaction-processing demands bal- The National Institute of Standards and the most seasoned IT professionals. loon unexpectedly or grab storage Technology describes cloud computing The truth is that cloud computing space on the fly to meet a project’s as a model for enabling convenient, does indeed hold great promise short-term capacity requirements. for the enterprise, but it’s not the answer to all IT needs. Traditional IT, in which applications are bound to specific physical servers
  • 2. 2 Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds PARTNERS IN EFFICIENCY WhITe paper on-demand network access to a shared Cloud ComPuTing as pool of resources—is coming within pool of configurable computing re- evoluTionary model reach. Foundational technologies sources that can be rapidly provisioned Cloud computing is essentially a famil- include broadband network access, and released with minimal manage- iar concept: The idea of a readily avail- browser-based self-service applica- ment effort or service provider inter- able pool of resources has been raised tions, services-oriented architecture, action. By “configurable computing time and time again. For example, over horizontal scaling or fail-in-computing resources,” NIST means networks, serv- the past decade we’ve heard about and, perhaps most significant, x86- ers, storage, applications and services. autonomic, grid and utility computing. based server virtualization. We’ve also seen the emergence of a In other words, users should be able services-oriented approach to applica- amazon Web services, with its “order to click their way through simple Web tion architecture, as well as the rise of IT with a credit card” compute and front-ends to get instant access to the a do-it-yourself style of computing with storage services, has made the viabil- applications, infrastructure or platforms the advent of application services and ity of the cloud model clear. Individu- they need to do their jobs. They’d Web 2.0 technologies. als, work teams and enterprise IT now specify the duration and only pay for understand how easy it can be to grab the resources they use, whether they But what’s different is that the foun- extra compute or storage from a pub- are tapping into cloud services from dational technologies have matured to licly available pool of resources, and the internal IT organization or from an a point that the holy Grail of IT—that how cost-effective the pay-as-you-go external service provider. infinitely scalable and readily available model can be. In the enterprise, cloud computing can also ease the inefficiencies inherent in large enterprise Portfolio of the traditional model of computing, in which the bulk of the IT spend goes to- ComPuTe models ward maintaining legacy infrastructure, rather than business enhancements and innovations. It’s a process that of- ten begins with virtualization, and that knocks down the barriers associated TradiTional virTualized PrivaTe Cloud PubliC Cloud with the physical environment. The ingredienTs of Cloud ComPuTing Distribution Deciding that cloud computing is a logi- of Models cal extension of a virtual environment used today Distribution and makes good business sense is only of Models half the battle for IT executives. Figur- used 3–5 years ing out what type of cloud to use and from now what to put in it is equally challenging. planning an enterprise cloud strategy must begin with the understanding that cloud computing, despite the furor
  • 3. 3 Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds PARTNERS IN EFFICIENCY WhITe paper “Cloud computing is the stone, or the catalyst, that’s administrators and developers to self-provision the processing, stor- going to drive an update of IT, but all the stuff that goes age, network and other resources required to deploy and run applica- into it, like usage-based billing, self-service portals, pool- tions and operating systems. ing of resources, and all the other component parts, is n Platform as a service, or paaS— really where the goodness comes in.” essentially a software development and hosting environment, made up — BarTON GeOrGe, Dell of development tools, databases, middleware, and infrastructure surrounding it, is neither revolutionary enterprise Management associates in software. nor the be-all and end-all, says Barton Boulder, Colo., agrees. Cloud computing George, Dell’s cloud computing evange- is but the next stage of virtualization’s n Software as a service, or SaaS, list. rather, it’s an evolutionary comput- evolution, he says. which is the most widely known ing model that is prompting enterprises and most mature type of cloud to take a hard look at how they might Virtualization now is about flexibility, service. With SaaS, users have Web improve IT. That IT reexamination is a with the driver being the ability to get access to applications hosted on worthwhile undertaking regardless if fast access to new services without IT a service provider’s infrastructure. cloud services are the end result. standing in the way, Mann says. While Typical SaaS applications include IT no longer needs to be wary of the those for customer relationship George likens cloud computing to the roadblocks typical of the physical envi- management, collaboration, e-mail, stone in the fairy tale Stone Soup, in ronment (such as purchasing, procure- enterprise resource management which a stranger tricks townspeople ment, racking, stacking and cabling), it and supply chain management, as into adding ingredients into his “won- must watch out for business, cultural well as software for engineering, derfully flavorful but still somewhat and political barriers. manufacturing and operations. lacking” stone soup. Indeed, cloud computing is as much sTruCTures of The Cloud “Cloud computing is the stone, or the about the way enterprises think about Just as three types of services have catalyst, that’s going to drive an update IT as anything else, agrees Kevin Van evolved out of the cloud, a trio of pri- of IT, but all the stuff that goes into it, Mondfrans, cloud solutions planner at mary deployment models has emerged like usage-based billing, self-service Dell. “Operations must now think about too: private, public and hybrid. portals, pooling of resources, and all the IT as a service to the internal organiza- other component parts, is really where tion and its response time, its ability to PrivaTe Cloud the goodness comes in,” George says. be more agile, and the need to be more Whether operated and hosted by the “So you’ve got this ethereal concept of accountable in the way it delivers and enterprise IT department or by an cloud, which is the end state you’re try- services IT,” he says. external provider, a private cloud is for ing to get to, but it’s all the ingredients the exclusive use of a single organiza- you’re going to put in there that will TyPes of Cloud serviCes tion. That’s appealing to enterprises help you update your data center.” There are three types of cloud service that want to control security and data models: availability and to integrate legacy andi Mann, vice president of research, n Infrastructure as a service, environments. On the downside, if a systems and storage management for or IaaS, which enables systems company is building its own cloud, its
  • 4. 4 Laying the Groundwork for Private and Public Clouds PARTNERS IN EFFICIENCY WhITe paper “Private and public clouds join traditional and virtual because they won’t be thinking about enterprise requirements such as infrastructures as the compute models IT will use service-level agreements and applica- tion integration.” going forward.” — BarTON GeOrGe, Dell CIOs would be wise to take this opportunity to establish IT’s service delivery role, Van Mondfrans adds. They can do so by creating a stan- IT organization needs to account for because of the way they’re architect- dardized services catalog, complete that capital expenditure and may be ed. Others, especially those that aren’t with specifications for how each ser- hamstrung by infrastructure limita- mission-critical, might not warrant the vice would treat data, handle security tions. a private cloud is far more flex- use of dedicated infrastructure. and deliver compute capacity. ible than a traditional IT environment, When it comes to thinking about the but it is not truly limitless in scalability. cloud, IT has to take a hard look at as IT morphs into the service-provider how it can improve application deliv- role, it is shifting from a cost center PubliC Cloud ery. private and public clouds will join, to a business unit with greater ac- public clouds, which are open to any not necessarily replace, traditional and countability to its internal customers, number of organizations and indi- virtual infrastructures as the compute Van Mondfrans says. Goals include vidual users, have the reverse appeal. models IT will use going forward, enabling self-service for business Using a public cloud requires no capi- George says. users, instituting a bill-back program, tal investment or associated risk, and further automating systems adminis- enables agility and efficiency with vast right now, most enterprises rely heav- tration and outsourcing as appropriate scale. On the other hand, the shared ily on traditional and virtual infrastruc- to the public cloud, while maintaining nature of the resources raises security tures. Over time, however, more and responsibility for policy, security and and regulatory concerns, as well as more of the IT infrastructure will move best practices. issues surrounding vendor lock-in. into private and public clouds as the benefits become clearer for each or- Cloud computing doesn’t require a hybrid Cloud ganization and the offerings mature. headlong rush, but dawdling won’t a hybrid cloud allows for data and serve your purposes, either. “We’re application portability between the no beTTer Time Than now pretty far along on virtualization adop- private and public worlds. For exam- Now is the time to start evaluating tion but just in the early stages of ple, an application requiring additional your IT infrastructure and the role turning to the cloud,” Van Mondfrans processing capacity that is unable to private or public cloud services might says. “That means customers aren’t find it in the private cloud could ac- play for your company going forward. behind, but IT will transform very cess the public cloud for resources. quickly, and they’ll easily find them- “It’s a matter of lead or follow and be selves behind in the marketplace if Determining which model to use— circumvented,” George says. “If you they don’t get going today.” or whether cloud computing makes don’t jump on this thing, you might sense at all for your organization— find a lot of people in your organiza- requires careful consideration of each tion pulling out their credit cards and application. Some legacy applications, going to amazon or Google apps for for example, might not be able to take the services they need. and that’s advantage of the cloud’s scalability going to create a big mess for you